Seattle Seahawks: 4 Reasons This Is Pete Carroll's Make-or-Break Season
Pete Carroll is entering his third season as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, and while he was able to find success in his first year with the team, last season proved to be more trying for the former USC head man.
Whether Carroll is on the hot seat or not is debatable, and likely won't become clear until the upcoming season is well under way.
What's clear, though, is that there is a handful of factors this time around that could make or break Carroll's success by the end of next season.
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The Seattle Seahawks have gone 7-9 in each of their last two seasons.
Although the team did make the playoffs in Carroll's first year as the team's head coach, the competition that season wasn't exactly at its highest.
As the first team to ever make the playoffs with a 7-9 record, the Seahawks entered the 2010 playoffs touted as one of the worst playoff teams in NFL history despite being the No. 1 team in the division that season.
Not every year is going to be as down in the division, though, as evident by last season, so it's time for Carroll and his crew to start putting together some winning campaigns up in Seattle.
Open Competition at Quarterback
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With Pete Carroll announcing an open competition at quarterback this season, the Seattle Seahawks have the very real possibility of announcing their third starting quarterback since Carroll's arrival in 2010.
With the recent free-agent signing of Matt Flynn, the former Green Bay quarterback should find himself the starter next season despite the competition heading into training camp.
The team had just 15 passing touchdowns all last year, though, so the right decision must be made.
For Carroll and the Seahawks, it's time to choose a starting quarterback and finally set the path moving forward with the right guy behind center.
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Assuming Matt Flynn does exit the quarterback competition as the starter next season, he is going to be a big part of whether Pete Carroll's third year with the Seahawks is a successful one or not.
Flynn has looked very good in the time he's seen on the field so far, but it's tough to judge just how good he can be at this point in his career.
Signing the 26-year-old quarterback was a big pickup this season, no doubt about that. However, if it doesn't pan out and Flynn doesn't show signs of becoming the franchise quarterback the team is looking for, look for both Carroll and general manager John Schneider to take some serious heat next season.
Third Time Is Not Always a Charm
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Pete Carroll is in the midst of his third head coaching stint in the NFL, but if you've followed his NFL career prior to Seattle, you know the third season has not traditionally been a charm for this head coach.
In his first season with the New England Patriots in 1997, Carroll rallied his team to a first-place standing in the AFC East, but lost the AFC divisional game after a win in the Wild Card—not unlike what he did with the Seahawks in 2010.
The team took a downward turn each of the following years, though, resulting in Carroll's firing after his third season with the Pats.
Last season was clearly a step down for Carroll, and another bad year could find the Seahawks' head coach following in his own footsteps once again this time around.